Woman drowns in lake after 911 operator fails to notify police

Jinglei Yi with her son  
By: Sarah Weiss 

(Scroll down for video) A woman drowned in a lake after a 911 operator failed to notify police about the emergency call received, according to press reports in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Arkansas 911 operator did not enter the call in a computer system that would have notified the police and fire dispatchers of a mother and son trapped inside a vehicle in a lake, authorities said Wednesday.

She died hours later and her 5-year-old son was in critical condition Wednesday, police said.

The 911 operator of Little Rock that handled the call for 39-year-old Jinglei Yi, has been placed on paid administrative leave while authorities try to figure out what happened. The operator has not been charged with any crime.

Yi called 911 about 8:00 am Monday after her vehicle hit a patch of ice, went over a curb and ended up in the lake, a police spokesperson, Cassandra Davis, said. A county dispatcher transferred the call to the 911 operator, who spoke briefly before hanging up.

An ambulance was dispatched within minutes to the lake west of Little Rock, but the police officers and firefighters were not sent until about half an hour later after the ambulance service called to verify if police were on their way.

It is unclear if the delay played a role in the death of Yi. A doctor pronounced Yi dead at a local hospital at 11:45 am Monday. A medical examiner is expected to determine the exact cause of death.

Laura Martin, who heads the city police and fire branch of communications, said that the operator did not enter Yi’s call in a computerized system that would have alerted the police and fire dispatchers. The operator also ended Yi’s call instead of using a transfer option that would have allowed Yi to remain on the line.